A New Day – 21 – The Trek
Stepping away from warmth and security she gazed out at the landscape before her. A trail, not recently traveled, led off to her left. The old tracks left by skis and footprints were buried in snow like ancient artifacts forgotten in the cold. Worse was the fact that there was little to no entrance.
As she carefully climbed the abandoned trailhead that was now a mound she laid eyes on her targets. More than 50 yards away they spotted her within seconds and let out her their warning cries. Immediately the crowd began to shift, the sentries held their ground alert and hardly flinching. Even with its lack of use the most obvious trail was far better than the one her task demanded she traverse. There was no path whatsoever. The land sloped down but the snow drifted high. If she was to succeed she had no other choice.
I prepared my gear, took a deep breath and pulled on my gloves. No hesitation would serve me now, I had to act fast but move cautiously. My targets were already spooked, I would have to flank them and appear as though they were no concern of mine. As I moved along the edge of seasonal structures I discovered that I had no choice but to move slowly as my feet sunk into the snow which toppled over my tall boots and stopped above my knees. But I was committed. Instead of focus on this obstacle I was careful to pay attention to where the land ended and the shore began; snow half as tall as me was one thing, but heavy wet clothes and unknown depths threatened the far worse consequence of hypothermia. Twenty, thirty feet was close enough I decided even though about 10 feet from the river’s edge human footprints seemed to appear out of nowhere. They traveled closer to the edge than I would have thought to be safe, unless of course I had those waders I bought once upon a time…that gives me a good idea…huh…Focus!
Back to the matter at hand, I decided my position to be as good as it was going to get under these conditions. I took a minute to assess the snow melting and creeping into the tops of my boots and soaking my pants, perhaps the depth of the snow would provide my cold feet with some insulation. It seemed it would. But I couldn’t waste too much time thinking about this, my feet would have to wait as would my hands because now the gloves must come off, literally and figuratively.
Let the games begin!